Thursday, August 15, 2013

I approach Forty as I would an Eating Disorder

For the next six months I'm going to do something amazing every day.  It might be having a salad for dinner, or going to the gym...or happy hour at Mai Tais.  (Depends on the day)

I approach forty like an eating disorder, which will be easier to deal with in hindsight, but here I am now.  Geneen Roth wrote a wonderful and heartbreaking book called, "When Food is Love" and I read it through tear-blurred eyes, the first time, when I was about 13.  One chapter, in particular, has stayed with me- the part about the little girl and M&Ms:

A mother brought her overweight daughter to Ms. Roth, frantically overwrought that her daughter kept gaining wait and she was so young.  Ms. Roth asked the little girl what was her favourite treat, "M&Ms!!!" she cried.  The mother was instructed to get a pillow case and fill it with the chocolate candy and have her daughter carry it around with her wherever she went.  The mother did as instructed and the daughter was ecstatic; candy whenever she wanted it.  At first, the girl started gaining even more weight and the mom not happy, but she kept her mouth shut.  As time went on, the girl started forgetting to bring her pillowcase of candy, and at a certain point, stopped taking it with her altogether.

I might be stretching the metaphor a tiny bit, but my fortieth birthday and all that's wrapped up in it (real or imaginary) is going to stay right with me, so that I can indulge in my issues at any time.  Maybe by the time February comes around, I'll have left my pillowcase of self-doubt somewhere on the side of the road, and maybe it will turn into flowers.

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